On Wednesday, May 13, the Harwood Unified Union District (HUUSD) Board will meet to discuss the school budget. Since the Vermont Legislature has not yet made a decision about whether it will allow school districts without approved budgets to borrow an amount equal to their fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending levels, the board will discuss four possible budget options at the May 13 meeting.
The first budget option is to approve a budget at the meeting on May 13, warning that budget on May 20 and hold a public vote on June 9, encouraging the community to vote via absentee ballot ahead of time.
The second option is the same as above, except instead of holding an in-person election on June 9, all voters would be required to vote via absentee ballot.
The third option is to approve a budget on May 13 that reflects the pending budget imposition from the Legislature and to wait until the Legislature approves the bill that would impose budgets on budgetless school districts instead of holding a public vote.
Finally, the board could choose one of the first two options and then go with the Legislature’s imposed budget option if the district’s budget vote were to fail.
In a leadership report to the board, chair Caitlin Hollister and vice chair Torrey Smith said their main goal for Wednesday’s discussion is to determine, first, which of the four options is of greatest interest to the board and, finally, to make and approve a plan for carrying it out.
Other items in the agenda include a discussion of the pros and cons of intradistrict choice (IDC), the policy that allows students to choose which school in the district they attend, and the creation of a “work plan” for the board that will involve pandemic-conscious goalsetting.